The THX Select2-certified Integra DTR-6.6 is designed for stress-free installation and effortless operation. Large by contemporary standards, this 29 lb. receiver is ideal for home theater and music fans still rooted in the analog world. It makes no concessions to HDMI (for that you need the DTR- 7.6) and even has a phono input. The 6.6 is XM satellite radio-ready; meaning users need only an XM Connect & Play antenna (and an XM subscription) to enjoy the service.
The multizone DTR-6.6 provides independent Zone 2 stereo audio and subwoofer outputs, and can make two full-power channels available to drive speakers in another room. Zone 2 even has its own bass and treble controls. The well-balanced front panel has logically arrayed buttons for all commonly used functions, and convenience jacks for temporary hookup of video gear. The receiver’s backlit universal remote control is well laid-out, easy to use, and lets users adjust individual speaker levels while listening.
The DTR-6.6 allows upconversion of composite and S-Video inputs to component output by enabling the function in the startup menu. Interestingly, the manual recommends against doing this. There’s no built-in video scaler, but the 6.6 passes highdefinition signals cleanly, and switches between active sources without glitches. The Integra supports all standard surround sound formats, and offers several surround modes of its own. A supplied calibration microphone supports automated speaker setup and room/speaker equalization functions.
The DTR-6.6 is a standout in the audio department. Film sound is excellent through the 6.6, with startling clarity and perfectly positioned sound effects. Watt-obsessed technophiles might consider the Integra’s 100Wpc power rating a trifle low, but its dynamic power specification is more than twice its continuous rating. The front three channels, for example, can each output 230 instantaneous watts into 3-ohm loads. In practice, the receiver renders even the most demanding sound tracks with aplomb and authority. Watching Hedwig and the Angry Inch was like being in the front row at Bilgewater’s.
The 6.6 digitizes all incoming analog signals (including multichannel sources) but does so using 192kHz/24- bit analog-to-digital converters. Music purists often have phobias about such processing. Their fears are groundless— recordings sounded wonderful through the 6.6, with air, space, and nuance approaching the best audiophile products. Aggressive, bassheavy recordings like Kool Moe Dee’s Knowledge is King were delivered with knock-you-down impact, and delicate pieces like Katy Moffatt’s "The Evangeline Hotel" [The Greatest Show on Earth, Rhino] were offered up as if by cherubs on pillows of love.
The Integra’s “WRAT” (wide range amplifier technology) output stage combines dynamic impact with acoustic transparency and sonic warmth completely unexpected in a home theater receiver. The $1000 DTR-6.6 sounds so good that it calls into question the need to spend any more for topnotch music reproduction. To that add versatility, good video, terrific build quality, and ease of use, and you have a best buy.